Community engagement is central to the University’s core values and encouraging our students to volunteer is just one of the ways in which we work to support our local community and help our students to develop into socially aware graduates.
Our students spent 18,802 hours volunteering in the community in 2015/16.
Volunteering provides students with an opportunity to develop their skills, gain professional experience and boost their wellbeing.
Our student volunteers are energetic, enthusiastic and keen to make a difference, bringing with them a wide-range of skills and fresh perspectives which can have a hugely positive impact on local organisations.
Looking for volunteers?
The Student Volunteering and Opportunities Team operates a volunteering brokerage service, matching our student volunteers with volunteering opportunities in the local area and across the UK.
If you are a charitable, not-for-profit or public sector organisation looking for volunteers why not contact us to see if we can help?
Unfortunately, we are unable to promote international volunteering opportunities through our service.
The Student Volunteering and Opportunities Team host regular forums for the local organisations with whom our students volunteer. Each forum has a different theme and we aim for these events to be informative, developmental and to provide an opportunity to network over a cup of tea or coffee!
Please get in touch if you would like to attend one of these forums or would like to get involved in delivering a session.
REVAMP/Investors in Volunteers
Ensuring our students have a positive experience whilst volunteering is very important to us. We do ask that the organisations we work with have volunteer policies, insurance, and health and safety guidelines in place before we promote any opportunities to students.
Some organisations also choose to take the step to work towards an accredited quality mark, which is great way to demonstrate to volunteers that you are committed to providing a high quality volunteer experience.
- REVAMP (a local Volunteer Centre developed Quality Mark)
- Investors in Volunteers (a national Quality Mark)
Our student volunteers
In May 2017, we celebrated the achievements of our students at our Student Opportunities Awards. This was a chance for the University to recognise the many hours of volunteering our students give back to the university and the local community.
Pciture (left to right): Abigail Schultz, Helen Omeje, Myfanwy Meyer-Dinkgrafe, Cherie Ward, Susan Braga, Jemma White.
The following students have shared their stories about why they volunteer alongside studying for their university degrees:
BA/BSc(Hons) Psychology/Early Childhood Studies
Volunteers for: Age UK
"One of my longest volunteering roles has been with Age UK. I started volunteering with them in my first year and after a few one-off events, I decided to volunteer in their local charity shop. Now after over two years, I truly believe that this is the role that helped me to start gaining confidence and developing skills that will be useful wherever I will go. I got to meet a lot of lovely people who have supported me along the way and have become for me a small family. Working in a charity shop is so much more than just serving people and selling. One of my favourite parts about this, are our regular customers. Throughout the years, I got to know their stories and every week when they walk into the shop, they bring a smile on my face."
BA Film, Television and Radio
Volunteers for: CSR Radio
"I've been passionate about radio since a very young age so I wanted to give my time up to better my skills and put myself in the best position for a career after university. Music brings everyone together, which is a fantastic thing about radio. I also love the fact I get to express myself through entertaining others through funny discussions, sharing my passion for music and that feeling you just may be making someone's day better."
BA Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring
Volunteers for: The Penge Run
"I volunteer for my family-run charity that has now been established for 30 years. The charity collects donations of clothing, bedding and food, and makes two runs a month starting from Penge in London (which is why it’s called The Penge Run). I volunteer because I wanted to disprove the theories of those who believed that homeless people were all drunks or addicts and put themselves there. I wanted to hear their stories and understand them."